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Wed 28 April 2021

Image credit: Bradley Photography

By Glenn Davis

The TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival will always be close to the heart of Sydney trainer Joseph Pride, as he aims for two feature race wins at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Pride is back in Brisbane for the Winter Carnival and is hopeful of landing the two Group 2 feature races - the Queensland Guineas and Victory Stakes.

The Warwick Farm horseman will saddle up Private Eye in the Guineas over 1600 metres, and Fasika - who will be on trial for further winter riches - in the Victory Stakes over 1200 metres.

“I don’t mind going to Brisbane for the Winter Carnival each year, although I couldn’t get there last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pride said.

Pride landed his maiden Group 1 winner with Red Oog in the 2005 Doomben 10,000, and famously had his name tattooed to commemorate the victory.

Since then, Pride’s Group 1 tally has grown to 12 and so too has the inking with some of his former top sprinters such as Terravista, Steps In Time, Sacred Choice and Regal Cheer.

"I've got tattoos everywhere and I haven't ruled out another one but I'll see what happens up there this year if I get another one," he said.

Pride chose to start Private Eye in the Queensland Guineas in preference to the Hawkesbury Guineas over 1400 metres.

“He’s a very smart horse and the Queensland Guineas looks a nice race for him to win his first Group race,” he said.

Private Eye has won five of his eight starts and is coming off a last start second to the Gerald Ryan-trained Ellsberg in the Listed South Pacific at Randwick on April 17.

“He went well and didn’t have much luck in running,” Pride said.

“His last sectionals were excellent after he got caught in an awkward spot.

“The Queensland Guineas is right up his alley and I’ll be guided by what he does whether he goes back up to Queensland later on.”

The weather forecast weighed heavily in Pride’s decision to start Fasika in the Victory Stakes.

“She’s going great but I hadn’t planned on running her in the Victory Stakes until I saw the forecast for rain, so I threw in a nom,” he said.

Fasika is a daughter of So You Think and has won five of her 13 starts including her latest success in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes at Randwick on April 17.

It was a training triumph for Pride as Fasika had not started since the Group 2 Premier Stakes at Randwick in October, before overcoming a minor setback.

“She had a bit of a setback with her feet and trialled below her best before she won first-up and she’s come through that run well,” he said.

Sydney rider Brenton Avdulla is booked to partner both sprinters.